Kansas City Symphony performs for Kauffman Center supporters

Symphony and audienceThe Lyric Theatre was nearly full on December 19 as supporters of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the ArtsKC Fund of the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City and the Kansas City Symphony gathered for a special Symphony performance. Music included pieces by Rimsky-Korsakov, Bach, Britten, Prokofiev and others. Both Music Director Michael Stern and Assistant Conductor Steven Jarvi took to the podium at different times during the evening, providing a wonderful sampler of music and conducting for the enthusiastic audience.

Michael SternThe musical evening was punctuated with comments from Michael Stern, who shared his excitement about being part of Kansas City’s arts community at this particular time in history. He acknowledged that the Symphony has reached new heights just as Kansas City builds a world-class performance space, two things that create a dynamic combination for future musical performances. He thanked Julia Irene Kauffman for her vision and perseverance in making the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts a reality. And, given the incredible attention being paid to acoustics in the new concert hall, Stern promised the supportive audience that they have a great deal to look forward to.

Shirley Helzberg and Myra SiegelGuests, including Kauffman Center board member Shirley Helzberg and donor Myra Siegel, enjoyed champagne and conversation at intermission.

Yasu Toyota and Jane ChuAfter intermission Jane Chu, President and CEO of the Kauffman Center, joined Yasu Toyota, the Kauffman Center’s acoustician and key design team member, on stage for a special presentation. They shared insights into the thinking and design details that are going into the acoustical planning for the concert hall. Toyota, who has designed performances spaces all around the world, talked about how the hall is configured to provide both intimacy and spacial volume needed for excellent, non-amplified sound. Jane Chu explained how a one-tenth scale acoustical model was used to test the concert hall design and avoid problems when construction is done at scale.

Holiday Concert #7After the concert, Yasu Toyota posed with Jane Chu and Joan Israelite, retiring executive director of the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City. The Arts Council was one of the partners in this special concert held to thank donors and supporters who make the performing arts in Kansas City strong and vibrant.

Read an interview with Yasu Toyota about acoustics in the Kauffman Center.